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Zach Pekale | | September 30, 2019

Kentucky basketball schedule 2019-20: Dates, times, opponents, results

Kentucky and Florida look to be the class of the SEC

After competing to the wire in the SEC tournament semifinals and 30 wins later, Kentucky basketball’s 2018 season ended in the Elite Eight with a loss to Auburn. That extended the Wildcats’ Final Four drought to four years. 

With six consecutive appearances into the second weekend of the NCAA tournament, can Kentucky break through to the Final Four for the first time since 2015? Its first big test comes on college basketball's opening night on Nov. 5.

Kentucky Wildcats full 2019-20 basketball schedule

Below is Kentucky's full basketball schedule for 2019-20. It includes all future games as well as the television schedule. This will update with results listed above future games. All game times are in ET unless noted otherwise.

Opponent Date Time Location TV
Michigan State (Champions Classic) Tuesday, Nov. 5 9:30 p.m. New York, NY ESPN
Eastern Kentucky Friday, Nov. 8 7 p.m. Lexington, KY SECN
Evansville Tuesday, Nov. 12 7 p.m. Lexington, KY SECN
Utah Valley (BBN Showcase) Monday, Nov. 18 7 p.m. Lexington, KY ESPN2
Mount St. Mary's (MD) (BBN Showcase) Friday, Nov. 22 7 p.m. Lexington, KY SECN
Lamar (BBN Showcase) Sunday, Nov. 24 6 p.m. Lexington, KY SECN
UAB (BBN Showcase) Friday, Nov. 29 7 p.m. Lexington, KY SECN
Fairleigh Dickinson Saturday, Dec. 7 4 p.m. Lexington, KY SECN
Georgia Tech Saturday, Dec. 14 5 p.m. Lexington, KY ESPN
Utah Wednesday, Dec. 18 11 p.m. Las Vegas, NV ESPN2
Ohio State (CBS Sports Classic) Saturday, Dec. 21 5:15 p.m. Las Vegas, NV CBS
Louisville Saturday, Dec. 28 3:45 p.m. Lexington, KY CBS
Missouri Saturday, Jan. 4 2 p.m Lexington, KY SECN
Georgia Tuesday, Jan. 7 9 p.m. Athens, GA ESPN/2/U
Alabama Saturday, Jan. 11 Noon Lexington, KY ESPN/2/U
South Carolina Wednesday, Jan. 15 6:30 p.m. Columbia, SC SECN
Arkansas Saturday, Jan. 18 4 p.m. Fayetteville, AR ESPN/2/U
Georgia Tuesday, Jan. 21 7 p.m. Lexington, KY ESPN/2/U
Texas Tech (Big 12/SEC Challenge) Saturday, Jan. 25 6 p.m. Lubbock, TX ESPN
Vanderbilt Wednesday, Jan. 29 6:30 p.m. Lexington, KY SECN
Auburn Saturday, Feb. 1 TBD Auburn, AL ESPN/2/U
Mississippi State Tuesday, Feb. 4 9 p.m. Lexington, KY ESPN/2/U
Tennessee Saturday, Feb. 8 1 p.m. Knoxville, TN CBS
Vanderbilt Tuesday, Feb. 11 7 p.m Nashville, TN ESPN/2/U/SECN
Mississippi Saturday, Feb. 15 2 p.m. Lexington, KY ESPN/2/U
LSU Tuesday, Feb. 18 9 p.m. Baton Rouge, LA ESPN/2/U
Florida Saturday, Feb. 22 TBD Lexington, KY ESPN/2/U
Texas A&M Tuesday, Feb. 25 7 p.m. College Station, TX ESPN/2/U/SECN
Auburn Saturday, Feb. 29 3:45 p.m. Lexington, KY CBS
Tennessee Tuesday, March 3 9 p.m. Lexington, KY ESPN/2/U
Florida Saturday, March 7 1 p.m. Gainesville, FL CBS

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Michigan State  — Kentucky opens its season on Nov. 5 in New York at the State Farm Champions Classic. The Wildcats participated in the 2018 edition of the event, losing to Duke by 34. This time around, they'll face Michigan State at Madison Square Garden. The Spartans bring back Cassius Winston, a trendy preseason candidate for the Wooden Award, and will look to build off their Final Four run.

Louisville — The Wildcats' final test before venturing into SEC play is a Dec. 28 meeting with Louisville. Leading the Cardinals is Jordan Nwora, the ACC's Most Improved Player for 2018-19. Now a junior, Nwora is likely to be the centerpiece for head coach Chris Mack, complemented by a strong freshmen class. This in-state rivalry is a must-watch.

Texas Tech — Kentucky's Jan. 25 visit to Lubbock could be one of the marquee matchups of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. Sure, you could argue Texas Tech lost a fair amount from the group that was the national runner-up a year ago. But the Red Raiders return guards Kyler Edwards and Davide Moretti in addition to Virginia Tech transfer Chris Clarke and a promising crop of freshmen. This non-conference bout could have all the makings of a postseason atmosphere.


You can find tickets to all of Kentucky's home games here.

Top returning players

A learning curve is expected when replacing four starters, but Kentucky reloaded with a highly-touted recruiting class and returns veterans poised for larger roles this season.

Ashton Hagans blossomed for Kentucky once the calendar turned to 2019. The defensive-minded point guard showed glimpses of two-way potential, producing 12 of his 13 double-digit scoring performances after the new year while leading the 'Cats in assists and steals as a freshman. After UK lost Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro to the NBA Draft, Hagans returns to Lexington as a potential lead guard and reigning SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

The frontcourt tandem of EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards appeared in every game a season ago, though each averaged less than 20 minutes per contest. Those roles could be similar if John Calipari opts for more small-ball and perimeter-heavy sets. But Richards and Montgomery provide valuable experience  to a relatively young team without much low-post depth. Both players averaged at least one block per game, numbers that could increase with more minutes. 

Preseason ranking

The Associated Press preseason poll will release on Oct. 22. We will provide an update when that information is available.

NCAA BRACKET HALL OF FAME: Every bracket winner since 2014, and how they did it

March Madness 2020

Selection Sunday is set for March 15, 2020. After that, 67 games will be played over 21 days to determine a champion, a title last held by Kentucky in 2012. The Wildcats have come close since, reaching the Final Four in 2014 and 2015.

Will Kentucky be playing during the season's final weekend? Regardless, here are the dates and location of the 2020 Final Four.

When is the 2020 Final Four

The Final Four of the 2020 NCAA tournament is set for Saturday, April 4. On Monday, April 6, the two winners will compete for a national championship. All three games will take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. For 2020 Final Four ticket information, click or tap here.

ALL ACCESS: Complete preseason guide and schedule for the 2020 NCAA tournament

Below are each of Kentucky's previous national championship victories. 

1948 Kentucky 58, Baylor 42
1949 Kentucky 46, Oklahoma A&M 36
1951 Kentucky 68, Kansas State 58
1958 Kentucky 84, Seattle 72
1978 Kentucky 94, Duke 88
1996 Kentucky 76, Syracuse 67
1998 Kentucky 78, Utah 69
2012 Kentucky 67, Kansas 59

MARCH MADNESS HISTORY: Every NCAA tournament winner since 1939

Future Final Four dates

April 3/5, 2021 Horizon League, IUPUI Indianapolis, IN Lucas Oil Stadium
April 2/4, 2022 Tulane University New Orleans, LA Mercedes-Benz Superdome
April 1/3, 2023 Rice University, University of Houston, 
Houston Baptist University, Texas Southern University
Houston, TX NRG Stadium
April 6/8, 2024 Arizona State University Phoenix, AZ State Farm Stadium
April 5/7, 2025 University of Texas at San Antonio, University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio, TX Alamodome
April 4/6, 2026 Horizon League, IUPUI Indianapolis, IN Lucas Oil Stadium

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The Zion Williamson- Ja Morant game in January is one of nine matchups to watch between former college basketball stars during the 2019-20 NBA season.

Here are the colleges with the most players on 2019-20 NBA opening day rosters

On opening day of the 2019-20 NBA season, 128 NCAA schools have a player on an NBA roster. For the second year in a row, no schools have more representation around the league than Kentucky and Duke.

College basketball rankings: Michigan State No. 1 in AP Preseason Top 25

Michigan State is the preseason No. 1 in the AP Top 25 men's college basketball poll for the first time in school history.

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